Studying online

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PLNG5405 Principles of Urban and Regional Economics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Contemporary accounts of the evolution of urban and regional economies are dominated by debates over the relationship between the processes of globalisation, neoliberalism, and uneven development. It is commonly claimed that the global economy has experienced a transition from an era of relatively stable and sustained economic growth to an era that is characterised by stagnation and economic crisis. Competing explanations of the capitalist space economy often result in conflicting and competing policy prescriptions. The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to the contrasting approach to understanding the geography of uneven development and explore the implications for designing and implementing urban and regional policy. To ground discussion, core economic concepts are explored using case studies that are of contemporary policy relevant in the Australian context: (i) cities as locus of production; (ii) the geography of labour markets; and (iii) regional resilience and local competitiveness.

The aims of this unit are to introduce students to the intellectual context that informs contemporary debates related urban and regional economic policy; to provide students with a solid grounding in the principles of urban and regional economics; and to provide students with the skills to critically evaluate competing explanations of the evolution of the economic landscape.
Students are able to (1) understand the principles of urban and regional economics and its place in contemporary policy discourse and (2) critically evaluate contemporary debates in economic geography as they relate to the theory and practice of urban and regional economics.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar assignment; (2) critical evaluation paper; and (3) research paper. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Paul Plummer
Unit rules
Advisable prior study:
Ideally, but not essential, students should have a geography and/or cognate discipline background.
Contact hours
20 hours over 10 weeks split between lectures and seminars
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.